Getting around New York City can be a daunting and expensive task for even the most seasoned traveler. Here are some helpful tips to get around like a local:
Before you go
When booking a hotel, ask the reservation desk where the nearest subway station is. Have a smart phone? Search for free downloadable transit maps. This lets you check your route even when you lose service in the subways.
Airport to Manhattan for less
After stepping off a long flight, it can be tempting to flag down a taxi. This is convienent and highly recommended if you are towing around a three-piece luggage set, but for light travelers there is a less expensive option -- the subway. While a taxi ride into the city will cost $50 plus tip, getting there via subway will cost less than $8 per person.
From John F. Kennedy International Airport – approximately 75 minutes
From LaGuardia Airport – approximately 60 minutes
Depending on your length of stay and itinerary, you may want to purchase a one- or seven-day unlimited MetroCard. These cards are good for all subways and buses and are available at most subway stations. Otherwise you can purchase a select number of rides or load your card with a specific cash amount.
Navigating the Big Apple
It is important to understand Manhattan’s grid configuration. All of Manhattan’s avenues run north/south, while the streets run east/west. Most avenues will have bus lines with stops every few blocks while subways stations are scattered throughout the city.
Major subway stations such as Grand Central and Penn Station will have general entrances. Smaller stations will have specific entrances for downtown and uptown trains, so make sure to look before darting in.